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they use. households in such simple economies are almost completely self-sufficient. at the other end of the spectrum are highly complex economies in which people specialize in one particular job, like these shoe salesmen in morocco. specialization means people are no longer self-sufficient, but depend on each other. the shoe salesmen are dependent on the shoemakers, and the shoemakers are dependent on the tanners, and so on. this dependence on others makes society in general more complex, so specialization is a measure of society's overall complexity. archaeologists find evidence of specialization everywhere -- in the buildings and sculpture of ancient cities, and in crafts like elegant jade earrings, decorated pottery and even skulls with jade inlays in their teeth. these craft items were all made by specialists who worked at the ancient maya city of copan. between a.d. 400 and 800, this magnificent city flourished as one of the major centers of maya art and culture. copan was built in a broad mountain valley on the western border of honduras. at its height, the economic system of t
capable of language, creativity, and thought. the differences among us lie in our cultures, our beliefs, how we organize our societies and how we make our living. humans have populated every environment on earth. we live on the frozen tundra and in the searing deserts. we live in thriving cities of millions and in isolated camps of a few dozen. some societies seem simple because they are small and their members are self-sufficient and use simple tools. others seem complex because they have large populations and people depend on each other for food and goods and use sophisticated technology. in between, there is a range that fills the spectrum. all of these differences are cultural, learned behavior, the result of a complex interaction between our inventiveness and our natural environments. as we search for new horizons, our inventiveness thrusts us across the boundaries of space, into new worlds. this new view of earth dispels an ancient myopia -- the artificial boundaries of our states and the politics that often divide us. here is a vision of one planet and one family of humankind. bu
these ancient families tell us about our own families ? around the world, archaeologists are looking far beyond the palaces and temples into the households of common people, bringing families to life out of the past. come forward all the way. oooh ! that's it. good. hold on me. come forward. ease the baby out with little pushes. come on. you can do it. beautiful ! the baby's coming up to you. waaahh ! keach: every newborn child immediately confronts three basic needs -- food, shelter and education. in the beginning, these needs are met at home. but in industrial societies, that soon changes. teacher: times three... we educate our children in schools. how would you read this number ? 21,000. you're getting these two a little mixed up from the example before. we earn our daily bread in offices, and we buy it in markets. but in many cultures, the household is still the most basic unit of society, where people spend most of their days, producing what they need to live and teaching their children their values and culture. anthropologist richard wilk. a household is an activity group. it's a group of
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